When it comes to Korean food, two of my favorite places are Kimbab Cheonguk and House of Tofu Soup. Both of those are located along North Road near Lougheed Highway on the Burnaby-Coquitlam border. Along the Kingsway corridor near Metrotown, you’ll also find Potter’s Garden and Hanwoori. Me, I’m more inclined to hit Masita Korean Restaurant for a lunch special.
Practically a few doors down from MYST Asian Fusion, Masita looks more like someone’s house than it does a place of business. To my recollection, it was a Vietnamese restaurant before being converted into the Korean restaurant it is today. I’m fairly certain it really was someone’s house at some point. Out front, you’ll find about eight parking spots or so.
Inside, it looks like a converted home… which I suppose it really is. The dining room is roughly split up into three spaces: one by the cashier, one in the middle, and another room that’s a couple steps lower than the rest. The decor is perhaps best described as functional, with a couple random posters taped to the walls.
Here’s the simple menu; click on the thumbnails for larger versions.
The menu at Masita isn’t especially expansive, but you’ll find staples like bulgogi bibimbab (stone bowl rice with stir-fried meat), jap-chae (stir-fried potato noodles), and tteok-bokki (spicy rice cake), as well as hot and sweet fried chicken, corn cheese, and seafood pancake. Most meals are in the $10 to $12 kind of range, even for dinner.
You’ll also find some special combinations on the wall. You can combine a tofu hotpot (sundubu jjigae) with a whole smoked mackerel for $13, for instance. Honestly, the $15 combo with the beef BBQ is where it’s at. It’s only available until 3 p.m.
The generous portion is best enjoyed with some rice. We asked for “medium,” but I think they only delivered “mild” as it wasn’t especially spicy. If you’re not one for heat, you can also ask to have it not spicy at all. Just be careful about the bowl itself as it arrives piping hot.
Accompanying our tofu hot pot was this sizzling plate of Beef BBQ, which was served with some peppers and onions. The server cuts it up into good-sized morsels at the table. The meat is reasonably tender and very flavorful (I think it’s kalbi sauce they use) with just enough smokiness.
The full-size version of this dish on its own is $25, so as a $6 add-on to the $9 tofu hot pot, the beef BBQ is an absolute steal.
Along with the BBQ beef and tofu hotpot, we also got the Seol-Leong-Tang ($10). This is a beef broth stew with sweet potato noodles. You might know the semi-transparent, super slippery noodles as glass noodles or cellophane noodles.
I’m a huge fan of this and especially enjoy combining the soup with a little bit of rice. Masita offers a lot of beef compared to other restaurants too, and you don’t need to add any salt either. It’s right on point and perfect for these chilly winter days.
Of course, just like every other Korean restaurant, Masita sets you up with a few side dishes (banchan). There are chunks of sweet potato, standard kimchi, and sliced fish cake. Every entree comes with a bowl of rice as well. These aren’t the most adventurous or more diverse banchan, but you can always ask for free refills too.
All said, I enjoy Masita considerably more than Andamiro Korean Bistro on Kingsway near Slocan and Morak Korean Fusion across from Metrotown. The food is of higher quality, the flavors are on point, and the pricing is very attractive too. Our total bill, including taxes and gratuity, was less than $30. That’s a lot of food for thirty bucks!
Masita Korean Restaurant is located at 6516 Kingsway in Burnaby, BC. If you’re looking for a humble, honest meal at an affordable price, this is a great option.